Mike is a long-time supporter of procrastination and enjoys doing as often as he can.
A note from me, A name I call myself
This story has no connections to any other stories in the Slightly Awkward Story anthology.
The Silent Samurai
The console was the top of the line and brand new. Angie played around in a training section of the game until she knew how to work the controller. She loved the feel and reaction of the new system. Her avatar moved smoothly in time with her new controller. Two minutes into the game, she found her first target and her first kill. Those people who played the game as much as Angie felt it was almost an honor to be killed by the best player in the game. The Silent Samurai rained death wherever it went. Angie had the hardware and software to speak and hear her fellow players, but she never spoke. Her silence and strict rule in only killing players doing wrong gave her the nickname despite her avatar not being a Samurai. Her avatar was a soldier in the late 1980s camouflage using a mix of weapons from a modern M4 to a tomahawk. Like so many girls in the gaming world, her avatar was male.
Angie’s mother allowed her four hours of gameplay a night if her homework was done. She has a 4.2-grade point average and does all her homework at school during study time so she can play her time. On even days she played the game working the levels to earn points and stuff in the game, and on the odd days, she played her famous role, that of the reaper. She hunted down gamers in a Fortnite style of combat acting as judge, jury, and executioner on any gamer actively working to ruin the game for others. In the forums, being killed by the Silent Samurai was almost a badge of honor for trolls. Many of them go to school with her. She likes to sit at lunch and listen to them talk about her and how she slit their throats or shot them from a mile away.
For the last year, Angie tracked down a player named Red Minion Twelve. She would help him as much as she could as he stumbled around. In the real world, his name is Ryan. He is about a year older than her in the eleventh grade, but he’s a newbie in the game. Angie played from the original game onto the new form learning all the tricks and strategies. A veteran of the game. She learned by dying over and over while learning how to be the best. She hated knowing some would see her as a Mary Sue, a woman who’s good at everything with no effort. She earned her gameplay the hard way. In her mind, when she followed him, she could see Ryan and not his over-sized avatar. On days when the football team practiced, she likes to go and watch them, that is watching him. Ryan is the junior football team captain and the quarterback. The kind of guy that could date any girl he wanted.
The night started out like any other night with her tracking Ryan down in the game. She passed people that bought their way to the level, not earning or learning their place. The game was awash in microtransactions and buyable levels, turning a game of skill into a game crowded with people who didn’t know how to play. Her favorite YouTuber, The Quartering, talked about this problem. He also spoke about women ruining games or as he says wahmen. She loves his take on Star Wars and the corrupt gaming industry but wondered what he would think about her. She passed the fake gamers shooting a few with the tell-tale signs of having more money than skill. She passed through a town filled with the digital corpses of people who thought they could pay their way to the end. On the other side of town, she found Ryan.
Ryan’s skills were improving, but he still lacked the understanding of coverage, leaving himself open for a random sniper. Angie had nothing better to do, so she took up an overwatch position and watched him play. After twenty minutes of him doing nothing but take potshots at random people, Angie decided to leave. She snuck away, hoping to find a few more of the pay-to-play gamers. Near her last stop, she saw a gang of players with equipment from another level making them either advanced gamers or the people paying their way into the game. Either way, they were on their way to Ryan’s position. Ryan earned all his mods and wasn’t in a place to pay his way back to his level. She hated that this game made you start from the beginning if you didn’t pay your way into your mods.
Angie snuck around, quickly taking Ryan out without killing him.
She said, “Ryan, we have to go.”
The second she said it, she realized her mic was live, and he heard her. Ryan’s avatar seemed to freeze in place.
Angie said, “There is a group of players coming over the hill. Come with me if you want to live.”
The avatars weren’t capable of emoting, and Ryan wasn’t talking, so Angie didn’t know what he was thinking.
Ryan asked, “Angie?”
The first thought that went through her mind was, “He knows my name.”
The next day, Angie sat in class, thinking about that night. They teamed up and killed every one of the fake gamers. Neither of them talked during the game. Angie gave orders, and she found she liked both being in charge and speaking in the game. They spoke but never talked about the elephant in the room. At lunch, she listened to him talk about the Silent Samurai and how he helped him stay alive. All the while, he stared at Angie with a smile on his face knowing the truth. After school, they met in a room near the practice field. Before Ryan could talk, Angie kissed him. Ryan pulled back.
He said, “I know your truth; you should know mine.”
That night while eating dinner with her family Angie asked her mother, “Why are all the cute guys gay?”
Her mother said, “The world will never know, it’s just how it is.”
Angie’s father fake coughed and said, ‘You two know I’m in the room with you?”
Her mother responded, “Yes, dear, we know.”
© 2019 Michael Collins aka Lakemoron
Anya Ali from Rabwah, Pakistan on February 02, 2020:
Engaging writing style - reminded me of Shaun Hutson's - and good story!